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6 Super Home Tips for Happy Family Living

How to create a family home that works for everyone, be they little or big…

Notepads at the ready! Take a virtual tour through the fun and functional family home of Galway couple Emer Fitzpatrick and Russell Hart, and their three kids, for clever tips on how to make meaningful space for children, while still holding onto a grown-up style…

1. Don’t fear colour. No, your home doesn’t have to resemble a crèche, but if you have children, it should feel kid-friendly. Primary pops of colour here and there (yellow Eames chair, purple-painted Ikea stool) are a nice inclusive nod to your bright young things.

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2. Get hooked on hooks. A certain amount of kiddie clutter is inevitable, but give children hooks that they can reach themselves, and they may actually (gasp!) hang up their own clothes. (Note also: bright yellow door (see point 1!).

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3. Table a motion for family dinners. Get a table that is big enough for the whole family to fit around, with suitably comfy, spacious seating. Do not eat in shifts due to lack of room. Emer and Russell’s dining table is a family heirloom, while her father built the bench.

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4. Embrace Ikea (or other flatpack furniture). Kids’ bedroom furniture primarily needs to be affordable, practical and durable (and, often in the case of young families, portable) so forget solid-wood family heirloom pieces. The bunk beds here are Mydal and the armchair is from the Poäng range, both Ikea.

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5. Keep your kitchen clutter-free and easy to clean. If there is only one room in your home where order reigns supreme, let it be the kitchen; otherwise it can become an accident-prone zone. Emer and Russell have gone for capacious kitchen storage units (essential for family life), which they designed and built out of plywood themselves, while Russell built the shelves. The wipe-clean stainless steel-unit was bought from a catering company. On the walls is cool blue Inkwell by Colortrend (one for the adults) while the welcoming pops of colour on the pots and appliances are enticing to kids too.

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6. Get a pet! (We recommend a cat, but dogs are good too!) A kitten to cuddle is a dream come true for most kids, plus they must take responsibility for feeding, cleaning up after and caring for another living being, so life lessons all round. And did we mention, sooooooo cute?

(If pets are not an option for your family, then another top tip to take from the picture above is high-up storage for precious grown-up things, such as valuable vinyl collections! Birch ply shelves by Russell.)

Check out the full Galway house tour and also our peek into the owners’ show-stopping B&B, The Stop.

Photography: Mark Scott

Looking for more foolproof ways to organise your kitchen? Done!

Sharon Miney for @Image_Interiors

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